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In a meeting at Escondido City Hall on January 26, planning commissioners voted 3-2 to deny a request allowing an auto-services development to be built on a corner near the intersection of Brotherton Road and Centre City Parkway.

In order for the proposal to have succeeded, the South Escondido Boulevard Area Plan (which was implemented in 1996) would have been amended to allow for the construction of an automated car wash and an oil-change facility. A proposed restaurant constituted a permitted use and didn't require a permit.

In March of 2009, the commission recommended that the city council deny approval due to environmental impact concerns. In the face of strong opposition by surrounding residents, the council directed the applicant, McArdle Associates Architects, to change the land uses; or, to at least modify the site plan to reduce the impacts.

The applicant opted to work on noise, traffic, and lighting concerns, which failed to satisfy neighborhood groups and individuals at Tuesday's meeting. One resident likened the changes to "putting a tuxedo on a pig." He said that the changes proposed six years ago (when the project began) were the same.

Another resident said, "The side roads that we all drive on are in much worse shape now than they were six years ago, and a project like this will invite more traffic. There are no plans for improvements on these streets."

The Escondido City Council will make a final decision on the project at the end of February.

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